Summer is upon us and as you plan your seasonal maintenance chores, consider the steps you can take to reduce bee, wasp and yellow jacket issues throughout the rest of the summer. A few key steps now can make a huge difference in your budget and schedule later in the season.
How Did I Get Wasps?
Many species of wasps build papery nests under eaves, covered walkways and in outdoor recreation structures. Others nest underground, in piles of rocks or similar landscaping features. Flowers and plant life tend to attract wasps and other stinging insects, as do patios. Wasps enjoy snacking on crumbs and spilled soda leftover from your summer BBQ. They’re also attracted to trashcans that aren’t covered or emptied regularly for food.
Is My Wasp Problem That Bad?
Contrary to popular belief, wasps rarely go out of their way to sting. They sting when they feel threatened or disturbed. And while their stings are painful, they’re usually not lethal to most. That being said, they will attack if they feel you’re getting too close to their nests, which can make it difficult to do enjoy the outdoors and do yard work with a wasp nest nearby.
It’s typically not advised to attempt to get rid of wasp nests without professional help, as you can sometimes do more harm to yourself, other household members, or pets. A professional exterminator has the tools and knowledge to get the job done safely, effectively, and quickly.
If you feel like your wasp nest situation isn’t extreme and want to take matters into your own hands, here’s some guidance on what to do and what definitely NOT to do when it comes to getting rid of wasp nests on your own.
Getting Rid of Wasp Nest The Right Way
Tiny newly built wasps nests with just a few egg cells can easily and safely be knocked off and destroyed with caution. To do this, follow these steps:
- Wait until nighttime, when the wasps aren’t active.
- Dress in gloves, a high-necked top with long sleeves, long pants tucked into socks, and handkerchief fit snugly over your hair/head.
- Approach the nest slowly and quietly.
- Using a garbage bag, carefully and slowly cover the wasp nest
- Detach the nest from the structure, tree, or hanging where it’s attached and tightly seal the trash bag
- Place the bag in an outdoor garbage can with a tightly sealed lid away from your home.
If available, use a pest control product to spray the nest before taking it down to help kill the wasps.
If the nest is in a particularly hard to reach spot, such as under high gutters or way up in a tree, you should NOT attempt to get rid of the wasp nests alone. Either get help from a friend or family member or, better yet, contact a professional to avoid serious injury from a fall. You should also not attempt nest removal if you believe you may be allergic to wasp stings!
What NOT To Do
While the internet provides a lot of valuable information, not all of it is entirely safe and tested. There’s a lot of misinformation about DIY wasp nest removal, including:
- Burning down a wasp nest: Wasp nests are highly flammable because they’re made of a papery wood pulp substance. While you’re likely to burn the nest down, you’re also in danger of damaging your property or suffering burns yourself. Not only that, but burning the nest doesn’t tend to kill all the wasps inside. The remaining wasps within the nest will likely become violent and start attacking you and anyone nearby.
- Water: It’s very tempting for homeowners to just turn the hose onto the wasp nests in their yards. The hard truth is that flooding a nest is ineffective at killing wasps. It is, however, great at upsetting them.
- Knocking down the nest with a baseball bat or broom handle: The reason why we suggest wrapping a bag around the nest vs. just simply knocking it down is because it puts you at direct risk of getting stung when the nest comes down.
How To Prevent Wasp Nests
It’s actually quite easy to prevent wasps from forming nests around your home in the first place. It just requires a little time and effort.
- Make sure to keep up with routine outdoor maintenance. Regularly check around your home for cracks or potential entry points that need to be sealed or repaired.
- Install or repair fly screens on all windows and doors to keep wasps out of your home
- Set up commercially available or DIY wasp traps around your home, particularly around gardens or patios. You can easily make one using an empty bottle, water, and a little sugar. Check out our DIY wasp trap instructions!
Need Help Getting Rid of Wasp Nests?
Identification and removal of wasp nests as you find them is key to the safety of pets, children, and adults using the area. Our skilled exterminators use strategically-located baits appropriate for each season, giving our customers a great advantage over expensive, store-bought traps. We’re also equipped to safely and effectively remove wasp nests from around your home.
Let us help you resolve insect problems before they start, saving you time, money and the discomfort of insect stings. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!